re: Faith, Humanity, and Power

2003-08-20

Richard Moore

Friends,

There have many very interesting responses to the
"Faith  & Humanity" posting and to the "Americas role"
posting.   And I've gotten involved in some more interesting
off-list exchanges.   For now, let me just share this
marvelous contribution that just came in from Arthur
Topham. It's a bit long, but worth it. I won't take space in
this posting to comment.  Except to say that I am largely in
agreement with him.   I was using the word 'faith' as too
blunt a brush.  Many distinctions were glossed over.  Arthur
gives us a useful philosophical context in which finer
distinctions can be explored.

Here's Arthur's own self-introduction, found in a posting he sent out 
to some list:
   ___________________________________________
   Arthur Topham is a writer, father and grampa living with his
    lovely wife Shasta in the wilds of central B.C. He is also
    the founding publisher and editor of the Radical Press and
    The Radical, an alternative newspaper once published in
    British Columbia, Canada and now suspended in a devachanic
    state awaiting rebirth. Arthur spends much of his time in
    cyberspace monitoring the movements of the Beast and keeping
    his radical readers informed on his website
    http://www.radicalpress.com He appreciates hearing from
    readers and can be emailed at •••@••.•••

Also - Arthur published "Escaping the Matrix" in Radical Press.  (:>)

Here's what he sent in to us..

enjoy,
rkm

--------------------------------------------------------
Date: Tue, 19 Aug 2003 11:52:11 -0700
Subject: Re: Keep the Baby Faith!
From: RADICAL PRESS <•••@••.•••>
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In-Reply-To: <p05210601bb6432e97dd8@[194.165.162.180]>
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Dear Richard,

Thank you for the recent 'faith' lift. As always you've provided ample food
for thought; so much so that it's become a challenge to try and respond
without ending up with a little booklet of my own! I will therefore focus as
closely as I can on your concept of faith as it applies to your viewpoint on
how and why things have progressed (or digressed) to the point they have
today and add a bit of other comment in between.

It is true (as you say in your intro) that most moderators have their
particular viewpoints which they cling to rather tenaciously but that is
likely par for the course for any individual who has laboured their life
away in an attempt to scrape off the overburden of indoctrination that they
grew up under. We may appear to stand out more than others but that is more
a result of having a cyber vehicle at hand with which to spread, as Eckhart
Tolle would say, "The story of me" about the net. If every seeker had their
own website I'm sure we wouldn't stand out as we do.

Many of my ideas (especially those of a political nature) do evolve over
time and its mainly because I allow myself to be constantly nurtured by
novel ideas. At the same time though my core vision remains relatively
unaltered by the vicissitude of events on Life's stage.

Shift happens, as they say and it wasn't until I was well into my 50's that
I realized the deeper significance of the underlying principles inherent in
the philosophy of Anarchism. That was a long process for me as I was
politically active in one way or another from about my twentieth year. It
thus took me three decades of experimentation and discovery and error to
finally realize the true nature of the centralized STATE (or the 'problem'
as you prefer to call it).

Your thesis that, "We humans seem to have an innate need for faith." I would
like to qualify further by saying that more specifically we humans have an
innate need extending beyond faith to a much more immediate order -  that
being the primal urge to understand, via Direct Experience, the TRUTH about
who we really are as Spiritual Beings. Rather than faith therefore I would
suggest that we desire Self-Realization or the Spiritual certitude that we
are in fact self-conscious, God-conscious, sentient entities with both a
purpose and an inclusive meaning to our existence. Failing that we become
further removed from the ground of our Original Being and end up settling
for either second best - a forlorn hope (i.e. faith) that the future will
somehow, at sometime, grant us the ultimate knowledge of who we really are -
or else thirdly a nullifying of the spiritual quest for Self understanding
to the point where we walk or crawl through our lives shadow-like as if we
were nothing more than automatons. The latter aspects of sublimated or
substitution of approximated Truth are what I think you're denoting when you
say we as a species have a need for "faith."

Reading through your brief historical overview of the past two millenniums
it's apparent to me that Rome, as the quintessential symbol of the
centralized STATE, quickly realized the power of Christ's teachings and
moved swiftly to co-opt his truth as he presented it to the world. It's my
firm conviction as well that the Light of Truth or the Realization of our
own personal Godhead is something that every human being is capable of
realizing and when the Avatar Jesus attempted to enjoin humanity to search
for that pearl of great price by diving deep down into the ocean of our
Being he also recognized that it was our birthright, our legacy and our
source of and connection with the ultimate Power of Life Itself, the "THAT"
of "I AM THAT I AM" of which the Bible speaks.

That knowledge or Awareness of the personal nature of our spiritual
sovereignty made Christ an Anarchist by definition and therefore the
penultimate enemy of the centralized STATE which was then Rome and continues
to be Rome up to this present time under one guise or another. In order
therefore to maintain the hierarchy of power it first necessitated the
murder [of] Christ to create this illusory condition that you refer to as
"faith". By doing so and substituting in Christ's place (i.e. his teachings
on seeking God within) the Church and the Priesthood as a false and
surrogate means to an unending form of spiritual, mental, emotional and
physical enslavement, Rome was able to gain control of the masses via its
surreptitious usurpation of Christ's supreme tenets.

I say all this not as a Christian for a Christian I am not. Nonetheless my
experience thus far has shown me that all great Truths have One Source and
that Source (by any other name) smells as sweet and is blissfully laden.
When we cannot have the Direct Experience of God or Self then we innately
pine for it throughout our lives and that pining (Wordsworth called it
having 'intimations of immortality') is what I perceive you to mean when you
say that we humans innately crave faith.

Faith is but a substitute for Knowing and a poor one at that as illustrated
by the disastrous events of the past two thousand years of vicarious living
that the human community has been cajoled and conditioned into accepting as
real. I therefore see these millennial blues (and the metaphor of Christ's
life) in the context of a greater universal atonement that has far surpassed
that of Christ's brief and suffering sojourn. Ever since Rome stole the
golden fleece so to speak and began exploiting the perverse tale of sin, the
anthropomorphic god and the afterlife, humanity as a whole has been
repeatedly paying the price of their tyrannical tithing.

Had humankind been given the opportunity (here in what we euphemistically
call Western 'civilization') to realize what Christ realized back then the
world might have been a totally different cup of tea than it is today. The
Garden would still be organic and intact and the precepts for
Self-Actualization would most likely have carried us far into the realms of
light and positive socio-political change that for the most part still
remain but phantasies during these dark and ominous days.

When you say that, "People have a need for faith, just as they may have a
need for occasional relief from reality through intoxication.", I would
hasten to add that such a statement can lead one to the erroneous conclusion
that what is being escaped from via the intoxicant is actually true reality.
Faith, not preceded by Direct Experience of one's own divinity, to my way of
understanding, is akin to Ignorance as it is perceived in Buddhist
philosophy therefore religions that promote anything other than Spiritual
Sovereignty or Direct Experience of Self may fit the prescription of opiates
(and in that context your comparison with  the drug dealer) but this doesn't
imply that the "reality" to which they refer is correct or true. Again, it
is our Direct Experience of Self that determines Reality in the ontological
sense of that term, not a secondary substitute condition dependent upon
"faith". And so in that sense the people who would fight to the death to
defend the Matrix are doing so not because of any belief in the ultimate
reality of the 'system' but out of sheer Ignorance of their own True Nature.

(I thought it rather interesting that you used the expression "the rhetoric
of the revolution" when talking about Thomas Paine and the American
Revolution as I had only days prior to receiving your email been mulling
over an article with almost precisely the same phrase wherein I referred to
it as "The Rhetoric of Revolution." It appears that hundredth monkey is up
to his business.) :-)

You wrote, "In the political arena we find radical critiques about how  the
system isn't working -- but we find very little that challenges the core
faith in the basic system: power delegated to representatives in
hierarchical governments. People seem to hold onto that one with the same
tenaciousness that Fundamentalists have for their literal interpretation of
the Bible." I would suggest that there is a substantial amount of literature
that has been presented to the world over the past century and a half
dealing specifically with this root question of the fallibility of the
so-called democratic process of representative government. It lives in the
writings of the Anarchist thinkers who have taken this basic assumption and
shown again and again how the elite have exploited the ignorance of the
masses to the benefit of the governing hierarchy. What you call faith in the
'system' is in truth largely responsible for the mind-set that even today,
amidst all the glaring examples of its brutal breakdown globally, still
cringes from taking the Anarchist principles seriously. This is one of the
reasons why I have great difficulty accepting your premise regarding faith.
You say, "I suppose the reason is that most people haven't thought to
question this particular faith." but I would answer by stating that an
honest and unbiased study of the lengths to which the STATE has gone in
order to discredit the underlying principles of Anarchism will amply
illustrate the degree to which THEY appear to understand the gravity of such
proposals. Keeping the mass of the people Ignorant of such liberating
knowledge, for them, is as paramount now as it was when Christ first
expressed his parallel creed. Like you said it's crucial to the power
brokers that We the People don't begin to fathom the currently esoteric
nature of what real democracy implies - a realization that the true
centralization of power rests within the Individual rather than the STATE.
That is the ultimate end of Anarchism and the real flowering of Democracy
and the timely death of tyranny.

With regard to hierarchies you wrote, "From what I've been able to gather,
the preference for hierarchical structures seems to be rooted in a lack of
trust in We The People.  Such a lack of trust was natural to the commercial
elites who took over the our previous revolution, but I suggest we need not
follow their precedent, I suggest that we must make a leap of faith and
trust." In this regard I would say that we need to begin exposing the fear
and disinformation that has been instilled into the masses regarding the
possibilities of governing ourselves without hierarchical structures. Again,
I can't help thinking that to expect people to suddenly make a "leap of
faith" into what really is an Anarchist perspective on social organization,
isn't possible without first educating them on the underlying principles. It
would be nice if they did but it would mean that society would somehow
suddenly be shifting into a 'new' state of social/political consciousness
without understanding how or why. It might be beneficial in the short term
but ultimately it would fail again because that type of faith would rest on
Ignorance of the individual's True Nature and thus not provide the
sustenance necessary for true, lasting Liberation. I cannot agree more with
you when you say that "We The People can indeed be trusted to run our own
affairs wisely" but I feel rather strongly that without the understanding
i.e. the knowledge of the basic principles, that there would indeed be an
element of blind faith involved if it occurred without knowing the whys and
wherefores.

When you say, "Consider making a leap of faith -- faith in humanity." you
are again hitting the nail dead on in the sense that we must reach the
Spiritual and Intellectual understanding that humanity as a whole is the
final arbiter of its fate as a species. But there appears to be an element
of wishfulness involved if this process is to be accomplished without We the
People first knowing why they should change their allegiance from hierarchy
to individual sovereignty. It's akin to wanting to take a magic wand and
dissolve instantly the karma of billions of souls on this planet in order to
remove a massive hindrance to social and political evolvement. I'm all for
it as I'm sure you are as well but somehow m'thinks it ain't a gonna work
out that way. This Great Work or Ultimate Truth can only advance in the Here
and Now by daily toil and gradual removal of the beams from the eyes of the
blind by the blind, a process that is ongoing and  perennial as the daily
appearance of Brother Sun and Sister Moon. True indeed is the fact that as
more and more individuals search within they will come to the realization of
their own sovereignty but the crucible necessary for such a massive global
refinement or "leap of faith" is still filling up and will be for sometime
to come. This is not to say that we shouldn't believe in ourselves or in
"the wisdom of evolution" per se. If we're going to place our "faith" in
anything it ought to be ourselves as you wisely surmise.

As of yet I haven't had the time to investigate Rosa's work Richard so I
shan't attempt comment on it at this time but move to your final
conclusions, one of which is that, "The new Enlightenment vision, the new
faith, is already out there in the public consciousness.   It's already been
defined to the extent it needs to be defined.   Its further promulgation and
refinement can only happen as part of a process of revolutionary change."
Here again I find difficulty with the term "faith" not with the fact that
the Awareness of what's happening around the world has been emphasized
enough so that millions of individuals are cognizant of the serious flaws in
the 'system'. Possibly it may be just semantics on my part but knowing that
there is an imminent danger lurking just around the corner is not enough of
a basis upon which to suddenly make the leap of faith you are proposing. The
danger is present and is clear and is the motivating factor in so many
individuals questioning and being skeptical of the 'system' and it will
undoubtedly spur them on to further awakening as the intensity of the
tyranny increases but until they know themselves and their personal power as
Sovereign Spiritual Beings they will continue to be reactive players rather
than proactive ones in this great political game we call Democracy.

You said, "There is only one thing that needs to happen to empower us to
begin taking action.  That one thing is to make a single leap of faith, to a
faith in humanity, a faith in We The People -- All of We The People...."
This is a very pregnant statement Richard for it's loaded with the nascent
seed of promise and hope much the same as the Old Testament prophets'
statements were. If we just surrender to Jesus (God) then all our sins will
be forgiven and the heavy weight of Life's myriad mysteries will dissolve
into a peaceful and calm acceptance of His will and man's subservience. I
know you don't mean or imply this but there is a very grave danger that that
is how it may be interpreted by others who either may wish to discredit or
refute your true aim. I say this because whenever one steps into the arena
of religious terminology (and that is what I think the term "faith" implies)
one gambles greatly that such a stigma will eventually create confusion and
that eventually misunderstandings will arise (as they obviously have in my
case! :-))

Anyhow, for me to conclude I should say that rather than "faith" I would
have opted for a word that clearly indicated a growing Awareness of Self (in
a Spiritual sense) and an evolvement (concomitant with it) of a Social
Consciousness that eventually will lead us to the obvious conclusion that We
the People are the masters of our own destiny.

I hope there is something of merit in what I've tried to say here Richard.
Whatever is happening though is happening irregardless of how we frame it in
words. It's my hope as well that we come to the realization you have that
when all is said and done it's just us chickens here and we must work
together outside the Roman Equation for the benefit of All.

Namaste,

Arthur Topham 
Pub/Ed
The Radical Press
•••@••.•••
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    "You can fool some of the people all of the time, and those are 
      the ones you need to concentrate on."
      - GW Bush, USA Today, 14 Aug 03

    "...the Patriot Act followed 9-11 as smoothly as the
      suspension of the Weimar constitution followed the
      Reichstag fire."  
      - Srdja Trifkovic

    There is not a problem with the system.
    The system is the problem.

    Faith in humanity, not gods, ideologies, or programs.
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